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Synopsis

Planning a school or amateur Shakespeare production? The best way to experience the plays is to perform them, but getting started can be a challenge: The complete plays are too long and complex, while scene selections or simplified language are too limited.

"The 30-Minute Shakespeare" is a new series of abridgements that tell the “story” of each play from start to finish while keeping the beauty of Shakespeare’s language intact. Specific stage directions and character suggestions give even inexperienced actors the tools to perform Shakespeare with confidence, understanding, and fun!

This cutting focuses on three ridiculously funny and vibrant scenes from A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM. The first scene starts with Puck mistakenly anointing the eyes of the wrong lovers with love potion, leading to a madcap chase scene between Helena, Lysander, Hermia, and Demetrius. Scene two features Bottom's magical transformation to an ass, always an audience favorite. The final scene is the classic play within a play, where the "Rude Mechanicals" act out with "tragical mirth" the story of Pyramus and Thisbe, with specific comic suggestions for the characters, including Lion chasing Thisbe into the audience!

The edition also includes an essay by editor Nick Newlin on how to produce a Shakespeare play with novice actors, and notes about the original production of this abridgement at the Folger Shakespeare Library's annual Student Shakespeare Festival.



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